Vaccine mandates should be scrapped and bans on employing unvaccinated workers should be lifted to help fill the region's labour shortage, a south-west MP says.
Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan said it was "absolutely" time to get rid of the mandates and the vaccinated economy.
"It's got to finish. It's ridiculous," he said.
His comments come as other media this week reported the Victorian government was considering extending the mandate for booster doses to even more employee sectors across the state.
Mr Riordan said the public sentiment had changed enormously on those who had not chosen to get the vaccine.
"I think people are all a bit over it. They just want their lives back," he said.
Mr Riordan said he had met with shopkeepers in the region last week who told him they were still enforcing the rules because the government told them to but mostly because people were in fear of lockdowns.
Businesses across the south-west have been crying out for workers with some fearing they would have to reduce hours because they didn't have enough staff to stay open longer.
Mr Riordan said that across the south-west, most of those people who were unvaccinated were working-aged people who could be contributing to the workforce.
"If you've knocked out five per cent of your working aged people because they are not vaccinated, that's five per cent of the workforce missing," he said.
"If you want to know why we can't find anyone to work, well we've just taken five per cent of people out in an already tight labour market.
"Absolutely we need people back at work and because it will solve that problem and very quickly because people are ready and willing to work and it needs to happen."
Mr Riordan said it was time for people to get back to work.
"Except for health care settings and aged-care settings, everything should be back to normal," he said.
"You shouldn't have to scan in, you shouldn't have to show you vax certificates. If you want to go to the pub, go to the pub. If you are worried about it, stay home.
"It's time to move on."
Other state have wound back some of those restrictions that are still being enforced in Victoria.
Mr Riordan also questioned why, for example, two people running a giftware shop in Warrnambool had to wear a mask while 10,000 people can go to the footy oval and watch a game.
"It's just ridiculous. It makes no sense at all," he said.
He also queried the logic of masking children in grades three to six, especially in the many P-12 schools across the south-west.
A government spokesperson said that while restrictions were always under review based on emerging evidence and the epidemiological situation, Victoria's vaccination requirements for key staff attending work remain in place and were all about protecting workers, customers and the broader community.
"The COVID-19 vaccine is proven to reduce the likelihood of someone catching and transmitting the virus, and significantly reduces their risk of going to hospital, going to intensive care or dying," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said it had recently announced $34.2 million for Jobs Victoria to place more than 1500 people in jobs in industries facing staff shortages, right across the state - including in warehousing, logistics and tourism and food processing.
This will also create a pool of 500 skilled workers that can be access by short-staffed hospitality businesses.
More than 95 per cent of people over the age of 12 in Victoria's south-west have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"The $250 million Jobs Victoria Fund is supporting businesses with wage subsidies and large-scale employment programs," the spokesperson said.
"Other Jobs Victoria services include a 600-person-strong force of advocates, mentors and career counsellors to help people in their job hunt.
"Employers across Victoria can also post their jobs on the Jobs Victoria Online Hub - for free - to reach thousands of registered job seekers."
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